The Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board doesn’t often make rules on its own. You could count the number of times they’ve done so over the past 21 years on one hand.
As amended, the bill states that “the board may only adopt rules that (1) incorporate specific changes set forth in applicable statutes when no interpretation of law is required, or (2) make changes to rules that do not alter the sense, meaning, or effect of a rule.” Other changes would require legislative approval.
The House Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee approved the bill Tuesday on an 11-6 roll-call, party-line vote and sent it to the House State Government Finance Committee. The companion, SF839, sponsored by Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake), awaits action by the Senate Finance Committee.
In adopting O’Driscoll’s delete-all amendment, the committee put the rulemaking ban into a bill largely filled with noncontroversial housekeeping changes that O’Driscoll, the committee chair, said the board supports.
But the board has problems with that proposed ban. In a resolution adopted unanimously March 1, the board said “amendments designed to curtail the Board’s rulemaking authority will impair its ability to carry out its functions under Minnesota Statutes 10A and 211B in a consistent manner to the benefit of the regulated community and the public.”
Executive Director Jeff Sigurdson said making rules allows the board to provide consistent guidelines based on its expertise.
“By taking the ability for them to make rules and adjust what they have to do in case something new comes out, it’s sort of like letting the fox guard the henhouse,” said Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park).
“The fox created the henhouse,” O’Driscoll said. “The Legislature created the campaign finance board and has legislative jurisdiction over the henhouse.”
The board’s main responsibilities are for campaign finance registration and disclosure, public subsidy administration, lobbyist registration and disclosure, and economic interest disclosure by public officials. By law, the six-member board, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the House and Senate, cannot have more than three members of any one party.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton to use mediation to resolve a funding dispute. In an opinion issued Friday, the court also ruled that Dayton’s use of the line-item veto to strip biennial funding for the Legislature was constitutional.
A Ramsey County judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of legislative funding violated the state’s constitution.
House and Senate leadership OK a resolution to seek outside legal representation in an effort to restore funding for the Legislature that Gov. Mark Dayton line-item vetoed earlier this week.
Day three of the 2017 special session saw lawmakers pass final omnibus bills to be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton, with weary House members wrapping up their work at 2:42 a.m. Friday following a week of long days — and nights — at the State Capitol.
Lawmakers on conference committees must sort through competing bills before finalizing a product to send to the governor.
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